Miso Brown Rice

Photo by Keri White

I threw this together one night as a side dish to accompany grilled sablefish and a mixture of sautéed beet, turnip and amaranth greens. It was a bit of an afterthought, but it kind of stole the show.

The miso gave the otherwise bland rice a wonderful flavor and masked some of the whole graininess of the brown rice, which I like but many do not. It was a great side dish, but it has a lot of potential as a light vegan main or the base for a grain bowl, especially if you stick with an Asian flavor palate — soy-, ginger-, garlic-infused topping ingredients.

A word on the cooking liquid — I used a combination of chicken broth and water, which was probably overkill. I was halfway through preparing the rice when the brainwave struck to use the miso paste. Had inspiration hit 30 seconds earlier, I would have saved the broth for another use and just added water with the miso. But if you are inclined to use chicken or vegetable stock for added heft, nutrition and flavor, there’s no real downside except perhaps some additional saltiness.

If you and your crew dislike brown rice, just use white and reduce the miso and liquid by half (according to package directions). This preparation would also work with barley, quinoa, couscous, etc., as long as the proportions of grain to liquid and cooking times are properly adjusted. Figure a tablespoon of miso paste for each cup of liquid.

Miso Brown Rice

Serves 2-4 depending on whether it is used as a side or main dish

1 cup brown rice

2¼ cups water or broth

2 tablespoons miso paste

Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish, if desired

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the rice, liquid and miso.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.
  3. Fluff the rice with a fork, place it in serving bowl, garnish with fresh herbs if desired, and serve.


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